The Ascension of Jesus Christ


In the Christian calendar, the commemoration of the ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ is on May 9, 2024.

Let us reflect on the significance of this pivotal event in Christian history. At the heart of the Ascension lies the Great Commission, a divine mandate bestowed upon us by our risen Savior.

Here are three points to ponder:

First, the Great Commission is a Call to Discipleship.

In Matthew 28:18-20, we find Jesus imparting his final instructions to his disciples before ascending to heaven. Known as the Great Commission, these words serve as a timeless directive for all believers. Jesus commissions us to go forth and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything he has commanded us.

The Ascension marks the transition from Jesus’ earthly ministry to the empowerment of his disciples to carry the message of salvation to the ends of the earth. It signifies not an abandonment but a divine handing over of the mission to each one of us.

As recipients of this commission, we are called to embody the love, grace, and truth of Christ in our lives, inviting others into a transformative relationship with Him.

Second, the Gift of the Holy Spirit is a Promise of Empowerment.

In Luke 24:49, Jesus instructs his disciples to wait in Jerusalem until they receive the promised Holy Spirit, who will clothe them with power from on high. The Ascension paves the way for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost, fulfilling Jesus’ promise to equip his followers with divine strength and wisdom for the task ahead.

Just as the disciples were empowered to bear witness to the gospel with boldness and conviction, we too are recipients of this same Spirit. The Ascension reminds us that we do not carry out the Great Commission in our own strength but rely on the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit.

It is through His guidance and empowerment that we are enabled to proclaim the good news and demonstrate the kingdom of God in our midst.

Third, the Ascension makes us Hope of His Second Coming.

Acts 1:11 recounts the words of the angels to the disciples as they gazed up into heaven following Jesus’ Ascension: “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”

The Ascension not only points backward to Christ’s exaltation but forward to his promised return. As we await the glorious appearing of our Lord, the Ascension instills within us a sense of eager anticipation and joyful expectation.

It reminds us that our earthly pilgrimage is but a prelude to the eternal kingdom that awaits us. In the midst of life’s challenges and uncertainties, we find solace in the assurance that Christ will one day return to consummate his kingdom, where every tear will be wiped away, and every sorrow will be turned to joy.

As we reflect on the Ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ, may we heed the call of the Great Commission, relying on the power of the Holy Spirit as we eagerly anticipate his glorious return. Let us go forth as ambassadors of Christ, proclaiming the message of reconciliation to a world in need of hope and redemption. | NWI